Theater in the classroom...or sea creatures fighting over a shipwreck! 🐬 (January 2019 Newsletter)

Check out my January 2019 Newsletter here. And if you’d like to sign up to receive my e-newsletter, click here.

As soon as your baby giggles at the funny voice you make while reading to her Dr. Seuss, she is being exposed to theater. When your early reader wants to read parts with you in Piggy and Gerald, he is reading dramatically. When your older child is tearing through graphic novels, she is immersing herself in a dramatic world.

Dramatizing stories is inherently fun and natural, and can be beneficial in understanding other subjects (from history to a second language), and it can also improve the skill of reading itself.

Reader’s Theater is a play script that students read aloud together without the goal of a production, but with the purpose of improving reading skills while making it enjoyable. This process can promote fluency, confidence, creativity, empathy, oral expression and connections among peers.

I love writing theater for children and I love hearing about how you fantastic teachers and students use theater in the classroom. So I'm excited to add a new genre of 
Reader's Theater to my repetoire. Stay tuned as I will keep adding scripts for early readers up through teens. The scripts can still be used for competitions and performances, but will have a special place as Reader's Theater within the classroom.

Check out my new 
Reader's Theater play--and while we're on the subject of theater and children, you can browse a short monologue written by a 6-year-old child! 

Happy Creating!


New 5-minute Children's Comedic Reader's Theater Play: The Shipwreck Solution

What do a box jellyfish, a mako shark, an anglerfish and a tiger shark have in common? They all want to live in the same abandonned shipwreck on the ocean floor—and no one wants to share! Check out The Shipwreck Solution to discover if these four, very different creatures, can find a way to work it out!

This is a 5-7 minute children’s comedic play, also appropriate for Reader’s Theater, for 4 actors (gender neutral)….

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Hiplet Making Headway: A New Dance Form Resonates with Millions

Don't you love it when art changes, morphs, and grows along with the culture, its people, those who speak out, speak up, or speak differently? Many do, but it is often a struggle for artists in any field to stand up and create differently initially.  This is ironic in a field based on creative expression, but critics, audiences, and artists alike sometimes have a hard time accepting new forms of something they have grown accustomed to (isn't this life for many, in general?).  There are many reasons for this, stemming more deeply than simply, "we fear change"--and how change comes about is not insignificant either--but I'm not going into that here. Having said that, judging by the millions of people viewing one new dance form (thanks, Social Media!), the masses may be ready to embrace this new artistic expression....

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3 Year Old Reads "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin

Okay, so he's not actually reading here, but at three years old, this is as close as this little guy gets to it.  One thing I love about this is how you can hear his dramatic interpretation of the events (and even a slight southern accent for the farmer)...

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The Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival: Open for submissions

People have asked me before how I see theatre standing up to the next generation filled with such a high focus on technology, social media sans face-to-face connections, and a lack of interest in the arts. There are challenges, to be sure. There always have been, and there always will be. Theatre is not an easy medium...

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The National YoungArts Foundation: Resouce for teens

If you're an artist between the ages of 15-18 (10-12 grade), you can considering applying to the National YoungArts Foundation. Applications are accepted in a variety of fields, including cinematic arts, classical music, and writing (to name a few) and you can find the application here (be aware, unfortunately, there is a $35 application fee, but you can get it waived).  So what is the National YoungArts Foundation? Well, in their own words...

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An instructor's analysis of my monologue, The Beanstalk

The Beanstalk monologue, featuring Jack of fairytale fame, has been used all over the world, by theatres, at universities, in high schools and middle schools, contests, festivals, and of course for actors' auditions.  Below, an instructor in Australia, analyzes this monologue in terms of structure, tense usage, punctuation, and sentence construction:

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